Christians are likely really looking forward to Easter this year. Perhaps those who don’t know Christ are equally anticipating to something to rejoice in, some sliver of good news and celebration in otherwise troubling year.
As you prepare and plan for Easter this year, here are six reminders to think about along the way:
1. Make it celebratory.
Easter is a big, celebratory day in the life of the church. As you’re preparing and planning for Easter, be ready to minister to your congregation and those who don’t yet know Christ.
On Good Friday, we remember and lament what had to happen to Christ to get to Resurrection Sunday. There’s a somber mood and tone. But on Sunday, we celebrate with eagerness what Good Friday bought us — redemption and restoration in Christ.
On Sunday, sing songs of celebration and joy. Sing songs your congregation knows. And if you introduce a new song, introduce one that’s easy to learn.
2. Share a story.
Pick someone in your congregation who came to know Christ in the last year and share their story of conversion. Videos are a powerful tool to use, but if that’s not an option, consider a live testimony instead.
Having someone share the process of how they came to know Jesus is, in a sense, telling the story of the resurrection lived out today.
If you don’t have a story to share, consider sharing one of our Annie Armstrong Easter Offering stories of a church that went from death to life.
3. Share the Story.
Share why we’re celebrating. Share the good news of the gospel. Keep it clear, simple and concise.
Proclaim the gospel throughout the service—in your sermon, songs, poems or spoken word, or through another creative medium.
And if possible, celebrate baptisms on Easter. There’s something so powerful about seeing the outward manifestation and the internal transformation that has taken place in a person’s life. This is also a great time for those getting baptized to share their story (see number two).
4. Be intentional.
Of course, the pandemic may limit or adjust our expectations, but even so, more people tend to come to church on Easter than any other Sunday. Expect new people to show up and be intentional for them when they do.
This could look like having extra greeters, playing songs with new people in mind and being cognizant to avoid or explain Christian jargon. Remind your members that Easter is about Jesus, and to keep their eyes open to introduce themselves to people who may be new.
Since the pandemic is still a factor, be intentional, thoughtful and clear about what you plan to do to help keep people safe. This may include continuing to have an online service option. Think of creative ways to make Easter special and celebratory for those who are home.
Intentionality doesn’t mean we need to complicate things. It means we simplify things to the most necessary aspects.
5. Be ready with a follow-up plan.
It’s easy to spend most of our time planning for Sunday that we forget about the day after Easter. Once you’ve gathered visitors’ contact information, now what?
Consider having a connection card that can be turned in online or in person. After visitors have filled it out, make their next step to get connected easy and clear. Give good time to thinking about what this could look like. The goal isn’t just a great Easter, but that people would return, ultimately drawn to live a lifetime in light of the resurrection.
6. Be worshipful.
This may feel like it goes without saying, but with all of the planning and preparation for this particular Sunday, don’t forget to worship the King. Sometimes, we can be so busy with the details of the day we forget the reason we’re there — to worship.
What every pastor needs — what we all need — after this hard year, and every day, is the hope of the resurrection. Don’t forget that even in the midst of leading, you’re a worshiper too.
Published March 11, 2021